Frost on windshield of car that struck Winona woman - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Frost on windshield of car that struck Winona woman

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Photo by Hans Dammermann Photo by Hans Dammermann
Photo by Hans Dammermann Photo by Hans Dammermann

WINONA, Minn. (KTTC) -- The teen driving the vehicle that struck 85-year-old Ruth Brendel just before 8 a.m. Sunday was trying to see through a windshield with frost on it, according to the Winona police chief.  Brendel died from her injuries Sunday afternoon.

Robert Tofstad, 19, of Minnesota City has not yet been charged in the case while an investigation continues.  But Winona Police Chief Paul Bostrack says Tofstad not only was trying to see through a frosty windshield, but was driving into a bright morning sun at the time of the accident.

The elderly woman had just parked her car, and was crossing East Broadway Street to go to the 8 a.m. service at St. Martin's Lutheran Church.  Brendel was trying to cross in the middle of the block instead of going to a crosswalk.

After it happened, Pastor Richard Moore rushed out to comfort her.

"We had a brief prayer together and than oddly enough Ruth said to me, you need to go in and have church Pastor and there were other people there with her, I went in and had church."

Ruth's sudden death is a tragedy for all involved, but Pastor Moore says it's also a blessing.

"She was on her way to church," said Pastor Moore. "She believes in the resurrection, she believes in the forgiveness of sins through Jesus, we know that she is with the Lord now in heaven."

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